Safeguarding is ‘everyone’s responsibility. This policy sets out Dynamic Counselling Ltd’s responsibilities under the Children Act 2004 to ensure children, young people and adults at risk, are kept safe from harm. This includes harm arising from:
The conduct of counsellors associated with Dynamic Counselling Ltd.
The design and implementation of Dynamic Counselling Ltd’s counselling programmes
We have an overarching commitment to keep children and at risk adults safe at all times whilst under our care and supervision.
The policy lays out the commitments made by Dynamic Counselling Ltd. and informs counsellors of their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding.
This policy does not cover:
Safeguarding concerns in the wider community not perpetrated by Dynamic Counselling Ltd. or associated counsellors
What is Safeguarding?
In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples' health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect.
We understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our counsellors or counselling programmes.
Further definitions relating to safeguarding are provided in the glossary below.
All staff contracted by, or associated with Dynamic Counselling Ltd. in any way, shape or form.
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. believes that every client we come into contact with, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation or ethnic origin has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect and exploitation. We have a responsibility to promote the welfare of all our clients, to keep them safe and to practise in a way that protects them and their interests.
This policy will address the following areas of safeguarding: child safeguarding and adult safeguarding. These areas of safeguarding may have different policies and procedures associated with them (see Associated Policies).
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. commits to addressing safeguarding throughout its work, through the three pillars of prevention, reporting and response.
Dynamic Counselling Responsibilities
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. will:
Ensure all counsellors have access to, are familiar with, and know their responsibilities within this policy
Design and undertake all its counselling programmes in a way that protects people from any risk of harm that may arise from their coming into contact with Dynamic Counselling Ltd. This includes the way in which information about clients is gathered, communicated and stored
Implement stringent safeguarding procedures when recruiting, managing and deploying counsellors - all of our counsellors have to have the appropriate DBS checks in place
Ensure counsellors receive refresher training on safeguarding at regular intervals or whenever widespread changes to legislation have been made
Follow up on reports of safeguarding concerns promptly and according to due process
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. counsellors must not:
Subject a child to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. staff and associated personnel must not:
Subject an at risk adult to physical, emotional or psychological abuse, or neglect
Additionally, Dynamic Counselling Ltd. counsellors are obliged to:
Always ensure the welfare of clients, and their wishes and feelings are afforded consideration when developing and carrying out counselling
Contribute to creating and maintaining an environment that prevents safeguarding violations and promotes the implementation of the Safeguarding Policy
Report any concerns or suspicions regarding safeguarding violations using the appropriate channels
All staff and volunteers have a professional role to identify and respond to the needs of children and report any concerns immediately
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. will ensure that safe, appropriate, accessible means of reporting safeguarding concerns are made available to counsellors and the communities we work with.
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. will also accept complaints from external sources such as members of the public, partners and official bodies.
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. will follow up safeguarding reports and concerns according to policy and procedure, and legal and statutory obligations (see Procedures for reporting and response to safeguarding concerns in Associated Policies).
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. will apply appropriate disciplinary measures to staff found in breach of policy.
Dynamic Counselling Ltd. will offer support to survivors of harm caused by counsellors, regardless of whether a formal internal response is carried out (such as an internal investigation). Decisions regarding support will be led by the survivor.
It is essential that confidentiality in maintained at all stages of the process when dealing with safeguarding concerns. Safeguarding information will be stored and handled in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. Information relating to the concern and subsequent case management should be shared on a need to know basis only, and should be kept secure at all times.
This Policy Statement comes into force with effect from 1 August 2019 and will be reviewed annually, with the next review taking place on 1 August 2020.
Someone who directly receives goods or services from Dynamic Counselling Ltd’s programme. Note that misuse of power can also apply to the wider community that Dynamic Counselling Ltd. serves, and also can include exploitation by giving the perception of being in a position of power.
A person below the age of 18
Psychological, physical and any other infringement of an individual’s rights
Emotional or psychological abuse, including (but not limited to) humiliating and degrading treatment such as bad name calling, constant criticism, belittling, persistent shaming, solitary confinement and isolation
Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA)
The term used by the humanitarian and development community to refer to the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse of affected populations by staff or associated personnel. The term derives from the United Nations Secretary General’s Bulletin on Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (ST/SGB/2003/13)
In the UK, safeguarding means protecting peoples' health, wellbeing and human rights, and enabling them to live free from harm, abuse and neglect
In our sector, we understand it to mean protecting people, including children and at risk adults, from harm that arises from coming into contact with our staff or programmes. One donor definition is as follows:
Safeguarding means taking all reasonable steps to prevent harm, particularly sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment from occurring; to protect people, especially vulnerable adults and children, from that harm; and to respond appropriately when harm does occur.
This definition draws from our values and principles and shapes our culture. It pays specific attention to preventing and responding to harm from any potential, actual or attempted abuse of power, trust, or vulnerability, especially for sexual purposes.
Safeguarding applies consistently and without exception across our programmes, partners and staff. It requires proactively identifying, preventing and guarding against all risks of harm, exploitation and abuse and having mature, accountable and transparent systems for response, reporting and learning when risks materialise. Those systems must be survivor-centred and also protect those accused until proven guilty.
Safeguarding puts beneficiaries and affected persons at the centre of all we do.
The term ‘sexual abuse’ means the actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions.
The term ‘sexual exploitation’ means any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust, for sexual purposes, including, but not limited to, profiting monetarily, socially or politically from the sexual exploitation of another. This definition includes human trafficking and modern slavery.
The person who has been abused or exploited. The term ‘survivor’ is often used in preference to ‘victim’ as it implies strength, resilience and the capacity to survive, however it is the individual’s choice how they wish to identify themselves.
At risk adult
Sometimes also referred to as vulnerable adult. A person who is or may be in need of care by reason of mental or other disability, age or illness; and who is or may be unable to take care of him or herself, or unable to protect him or herself against significant harm or exploitation.